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May 03, 1941 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1941-05-03

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E RS PEC TT VE-S

' ge:. five

.sPERSPEv C vv s.TI ..VE.s" Fi.ge Five

THE PHYSIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL
ASPECTS OF SMOKING1
By Cleora Forth

1. eprinted here through the
:_ortesy of the following periodi-
cpds: Psychological Review, The
-esournal of the American Medical
Association, The Voice of Tem-
perance, Encyclopedia of the Soc-
el Sciences and Superman.
INTRODUCTION
Whdce it is not exclusively the prob-
lem _-i psychologists, the behavior pat-
tern f inhaling the smoke of tobacco'
2. A American plant of the genus
'-.;cotiana. See the history of Sir
Walter Raleigh.
rolled in white paper and exhaling it
thr ough the nose and mouth, i.e., smok-
ing. trs been more thoroughly and sci-
entifitclly studied by psychologists than
by o er branches of science. This be-
havio: pattern of smoking often becomes
habit of-, and the sociologists and tem-
perar : leaders are more interested in
this hattual phase of the behavior than
are tie psycholosists. Until very recent-
ly, lile scientific thought was given to
smokog, and it was only after Bakunov
and itin proved that the smoking pat-
tern s the resut: of the entire neuro-
mse tlature activity that psychology ev-
en considered it as behavior.
The history of this behavior is not
yet complete in every detail. We do know
that the smoking of tobacco probably
started among the North American In-
dians. Rts spread throughout the entire
world was rapid after the colonization
of North America. although it is still not
settled as to how it spread. Ward believes
it was by association learning, and many
psychologists accept his theory'.
3. V. R. Skinner, in Intermediate
Plology, claims this behavior is
hereditary and was transmitted
to the English only after Poca-
hontas and Capt. John Smith
married and had offspring Cool-
cy, Angell and Carr deny this, of
'ourse. See Introductory Sociol-
ogy for their discussion of envir-
onment.
As this type of behavior is so wide-
spread today, it is important that we
know why it occurs in the individual.
how it occurs and its effects on the in-
dividual and society in general. Among
the recent experiments which have dealt
with smoking, :te investigation of
Hitchcock and Lao rence is one of the
most thorough ard one of the most con-
vincing, though tart specific conclusions

can be drawn from it. Their work is
significant not only because it provides
us with additional information con-
cerning this behavior common to so
many people, but also because it exemp-
lifies sound scientific methods of hand-
ling the particular problem which it
raises. A review of Hitchcock's and Law-
rence's experiment follows.
PURPOSE
At the time of this writing, Hitch-
cock and Lawrence still have not decided
what the exact purpose of the whole ex-
periment was. However, lack of purpose
does not detract from the importance of
the investigation, nor did it dampen the
scientific zeal of the two men'.
4. Among some old papers found in
a warehouse was a letter from
Hitchcock to a friend, dated Jan.
28. 1938, in which he says he ev-
er decides oct the purpose of an
experiment until it is finished,
thereby avoiding the embarrass-
ment of a totally unexpected con-
clusion.
SUSBJECTS
To codct this .. eimt = itchi-
cock and Lawirence used fouo albino rats,
all of whom had acquired behavior traits
by both selective and association learn-
ing. The experimenters thought that rats
of intelligence would be better subjects
than rats who had learned nothing.
APPARATUS AND EXPERIMENTAL
SETTING
In addition to the four albino rats.
Hitchcock and Lawrence used several
popular magazines, four college girls, a
sphygmomanometer, a Sumner pneumo-
graph (see Plate XI), and a carton of
Camels. At first the men considered us-
ing Marvel cigarettes in the interest of
economy, but feared that the rats might
have been influenced by the extensive
advertising of the four leading brands
and would balk at an inferior cigarette.
Besides, both Hitchcock and Lawrence
smoke Camels.
PROCEDURE
The rats were placed in a wire cage,
5'x5'x5', in a room devoid of external
stimuli. The first day popular maga-
zines were scattered around in the cage,
open at pictures and advertisements of
people smoking. The object was to ac-
custom the rats to seeing people smoke
and to impart to them what a socially
desirable habit it was. On the second
day, two packages of Camels and a book
of matches were placed in the cage. If
the rats could associate the pictures they
had seen with the actual cigarettes. by

.
,.

I

/7

trial and error they might take a cig-
arette and try to light it. The third day
5. At 11:19 a.m. Hitchcock went into
the cage and opened both pack-
ages and scattered 9 cigarettes on
its floor. Before he left, at 11:23,
he also offered cigarettes to all
four rats from his own package.
None of them accepted.
the experimenters had four college girls
sit around the cage and smoke and
talk for two hours. They seemed willing.
as the cigarettes were furnished them
and all were excused from classes". The
6. One girl, a second semester soph-
omore from Des Moines, Iowa.
insisted on having a Coca Cola
during the experiment. Then the
other three wanted them, too.
The men acquiesced and the in-
troduction of the cokes may have
complicated the situation for the
rats.
rats were encouraged to come to the
sides of the cage to watch the girls and
to enter into the conversation if they
cared to. On the fourth day, the ex-
perimenters, both smoking, hooked up
the rats to the sphygmomanometer and
Sumner pneumograph and tried to get
them to smoke'. The rats did not seem
7. Tried to get the rats to smoke,
not the instruments.
to understand what to do. and Hitch-
cock and Lawrence had to force smoke
into their lungs by means of a small
pair of bellows. During this last stage of
the experiment, the rats were also ex-
pected to learn how to hold a cigarette,
light it and get the stain off their claws'.
8. The rodent equivalent of human
hands.
RESULTS
In view of the elaborate preparations
necessary for this experiment, the im-
mediate results may seem disappointing
to the beginning student. The results,
both immediate and total, are disap-
pointing to anyone. The reactions of the
rats to the magazines placed in the cage
are not uniform. Over a period of an
hour, all four showed interest in them,
and two showed interest in tie pictures
and advertising. Rats A and B n turned
to one or more magazines ni'r nies in

an hour. Rat C revealed the most active
interest and tore several pages up into
narrow strips. Rat D looked at a maga-
zine (Esquire) only once and retired
to a corner for the whole hour, where
he cleaned his paws and face. His be-
havior must not be considered as lack
of interest, but possibly a negative re-
action.
The cigarettes and matches placed in
the cage stimulated various reactions.
Rat C ignored the cigarettes but re-
turned 18 times to examine the cello-
phane on the package. Rat A ate of
a cigarette and became sick. Rats B and
D returned to the book of matches of-
ten, and D nibbled at them until he re-
alized what had happened to A for nib-
bling indiscriminately".
9. Rats nibbling upon matches cause
hundreds of fires annually. This
information is always released to
the public during Fire Prevention
Week.
All the rats except A showed great in-
terest in the college girls. Rat A still felt
rotten and didn't care how many women
hung around the cage. The other three
were very active, and moved around
the cage and climbed the sides. None
of the rats, however. begged for cigar-
ettes.
The last stage of the experiment was
the most difficult. Haring Hitchcock and
Lawrence in the cage, along with the in-
struments, made things crowded and
excited the rats. All four rats objected
to being connected to the instruments.
From th start the rats remained indif-
ferent a. to how to hold a cigarette
in either hand, although Lawrence spent
four days trying to teach them"'. Using
10. The rats remained indifferent
throughout their lives.
the bellows to force the rats to inhale
excited them, and then Lawrence got
excited and accidently killed rat D.
Hitchcock developed claustrophobia and
after four or five hours in the cage,
would suggest quitting for the day. Law-
rence, stubbornly determined to teach
the rats something about smoking,
always refused to stop; whereupon
Hitchcock would beat upon the sides of
the cage and yell,. "For God's sakes. let
me out of here! Let me out of here!"
At the end of a week the laboratory was
a shambles, and the experiment was
closed.
CONCLUSION
What conclusion can be made?

Sny
Earth is stirred, air is stirred,
Unjustifiable delight
Awakens in the soul spurred
By ancient primavere in sight
Its life a wheel of many youths
That bear freshly the old surprise.
My wisdom that can cope with truths
Relaxes at the world's disguise,
Tempted to imitate in kind
Though such skill be devine in gauge,
And while rejoicing calls to mind
That man's own cycles witness age,
-Irving J. Weiss

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